How do you generate new ideas? Particularly those that lead to a new innovation or business.
I recently posted a quote by Linus Pauling on Twitter ‘the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas’. I consider myself to be a bit of an ideas man and have purposely implemented a simple, well known system to keep track of them all. All you need to do is simply ….. WRITE THEM DOWN!
How many times have you stumbled upon the next biggest marketing strategy, web 2.0 venture, business model or treatment for cancer (yes I know, extreme example) in the middle of the night and forgotten it by day break. When the light bulb sparks, no matter how ridiculous the idea is, I force myself to write it down (and date it) in a good ole 2B5. I also keep updated digital off and online copies (Google Docs).
Of course at the time of conception you don’t know whether the idea is novel, has a market/ need or is even feasible. Despite this, write it down! The potential the idea possesses may only become apparent until a later date. More so the combination of more than one idea may spin out a new separate idea entirely.
I also suggest reviewing this list monthly. Give it a quick glance over and see if anything pops out. Highlight those that have potential and invest time to investigate their viability. A 12 hour start-up perhaps?
Unfortunately one of the best ways to confirm that your ideas are viable is actually when someone else ends up successfully implementing them before you do. Idea #157 down the toilet: http://www.salefinder.co.nz
As the saying goes ‘Ideas are Cheap‘, while true in terms of their creation, the value that one may embody (those 1/100 ones) are invaluable.
Proven method: Over the past 3.5 years my list has made $14,000 for me through University related innovation or entrepreneurship competitions.
Next installment: Where do ideas come from?
Graeme @ graemefielder.com